Leading US convenience store chain 7-Eleven today [Thursday] reported third-quarter profit of US$29.5m, or 25 cents a share, compared with last year's third-quarter profit of $41.4m, or 35 cents a share.

Core income, excluding items, was $29.5m, or 25 cents a share, compared with $47.6m, or 40 cents a share, for the previous year.

Analysts had forecast a profit range of between 21 and 29 cents a share.

The company's revenue for the quarter was $2.79bn, up from $2.64bn a year earlier.

Sales from US stores open for at least a year increased 3.2% year-on-year.

7-Eleven has revised forecasts for 2002 core earnings of between 60 cents and 62 cents a share to between 65 and 68 cents a share.